The Next Mobile Leap Forward: Fold-out Screens and Apps That Anticipate Our Needs

What do our future mobile devices look like and what will they do?

The NY Times checks in with numerous innovators in the mobile space – teams at technology incubators like SRI International, PARC and MIT’s Media Lab, as well as designers and technologists at companies like Nokia and Intel - to discover what we can expect from our phones in the future. While they might not look radically different than we’re currently accustomed to, the next big advances in hardware and software might happen sooner than we think.

Just imagine a device with an 8-inch fold-out screen, a big virtual keyboard for easy text input, numerous sensors to detect your surroundings, and software smart enough to anticipate your needs and sharp enough to respond to conversational commands.

PARC and SRI are teaming to development an ‘intelligent’ application called Magitti that can theoretically anticipate a user’s needs and make suggestions based inputs received from GPS sensors, past behaviors or current calendar settings. A leap forward in the area location-based services that is testing in Japan and could reach ground in the US by next Spring. Where it begins to get really interesting is when we consider that these devices will eventually be communicating to one another and their surroundings independent of any user.

Still, the largest obstacle to overcome remains how to power these devices and their more sophisticated operating systems without burning a hole in a user’s pocket, literally. But researchers remain hopeful that improved chip technology and smarter power allocation along with parsing data from the web will provide near-term solutions.

NY Times: What Your Phone Might Do For You Two Years From Now

[image via d.billy on Flickr]

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